Guide to Creating a Social Media Plan for Your Business
Being a small business owner entails you to wear many hats while running your business, and managing social presence of your business may not be one of them yet. You may have thought of starting it previously, but the sheer number of choices and time constraint might have left you overwhelmed. “Where do I begin?” is the most daunting question business owners face when they think of social media. But sweat not! In this article, we will guide you on how you can get started on social media.
Let’s dive in!
Social Media Goals
Before you begin any endeavor, you must be clear on what do you intend to achieve as it will make the planning process easier. So, before actually starting social media activities, figure out what is your end goal. Is it brand awareness/engagement? Or more leads? Or more revenue?
Once you have decided on your end goal, you need to put them in concrete numbers and write it down so that you can refer to it whenever you want. To set concrete goals, the most used framework is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound) goals, but in my experience, it might get a bit overwhelming if you are starting out. So, I’d like to suggest a simpler framework to set goals: OKR (Objectives and Key Results)
In OKR, objectives are what you wish to achieve and key results are the numbers that define the success. So, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, the OKR framework would look like:
- Objective: Increase brand awareness for <My Company>
- Key Results: Achieve following numbers on social media platforms
- Facebook: Get 5000 likes on Facebook by December 31, 2017
- Twitter: Get 1000 followers on Twitter by December 31, 2017
- Twitter: Trend a brand hashtag in my city in December 2017 (A goal I’m not sure is worth pursuing)
After you’ve set up your social media goals, we can move ahead and work on where should your presence be on social media.
If you are keen on new goal setting strategies, you can read this awesome article on Buffer Blog.
Choose social media platforms
There are lots of social media platforms to choose from. There’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and many more. The question is, do you have to be on all platforms? The answer is a resounding no!Then how do you decide which channels to choose? To answer the question, you research 2 things.
- Target Audience: If you are running your business for quite some time, then you already have an idea of your ideal target. Having this will give you a solid ground to define your overall social media strategy.
- Competitors: Google your competitors. Choose key 5 players in your industry or 5 brands you aspire to be like and perform a basic competitor research. Study their websites, look for where are they active, what type of content they post etc. After the research, you will come find out that there are certain channels where your competitors are more active than others. It could be Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Now you know where you need to have an active presence on social media.
Having a good understanding of your audience and competitors will simplify content strategy for your social media. Now, there are different perspectives on how frequently you should create and post content, and it might get deluging. So, start small. Follow the “Less is more” phrase. Decide on the frequency of updates and content creation process. If you are strapped for time, and can’t create new content frequently, curate content. i.e. share content from different resources that would benefit your audience.
Setup Editorial Calendar
Upon defining the content strategy, it’s time to fill in dem spreadsheets with content according to your strategy. To save time, there are plenty of social media tools available that allow you to schedule content in bulk. Two of our favorite and free to get started are Hootsuite and Buffer.
Social Media is a two-way communication channel. Once your audience gets to know about your presence, they might start sending in requests, suggestions and reviews via social media as well. Make sure you allot a certain amount of time everyday and check your profiles and answer to the queries.
Monitor and Measure
Social Media is not a set it and forget it channel. You constantly need to analyze what’s working and what’s not and tweak accordingly. All major platforms come with an in-built analytics feature. Use it to establish a feedback loop to your content strategy. Knowing what your audience wants will help you to work on a better content.
Hope this article will help you to come up with an actionable social media strategy for your business. Got any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comment section below and we will respond to your questions!